Steiner’s Coffee Cake of New York, which has been rapidly growing since its official launch in June 2021, is leading the way in the gluten-free products market with their surprisingly delicious gluten-free flour blend and baked goods. Jennifer Steiner Pool (a proud Glen Cove local) and her mother Nanci Steiner have been expanding the business, which now has product in retail locations in Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, Minnesota, Tennessee, Texas, and, of course, New York.
“All of this time, the scientist in my mom was tinkering with coming up with the perfect gluten-free flour blend,” said Jennifer, president of Steiner’s Coffee Cake of New York. “If you were diagnosed as gluten-intolerant or with celiac disease 35-40 years ago, I think it’s fair to say there was nothing to eat.” Nanci, the company’s creator in chief, agreed.
Jennifer recalled a Williams-Sonoma bread machine that Nanci sent to her while she was in college. “We used to call each other and try to make bread…for hours,” said Jennifer.
Nanci added, “We’d make bread; we’d throw it out; we’d make more bread and throw it out.”
Nanci was born in Manhattan and raised in Port Washington. She was diagnosed with celiac disease more than 30 years ago. For nearly that long, it has been Nanci’s mission to develop a gluten-free all-purpose flour, one that everyone could enjoy.
Gluten-free products, while relatively new in the mainstream market, have gotten a reputation for poor texture and taste over the years.
“Everything was so dense; it was like bricks,” Jennifer remembered. “We’d eat it anyway because there was nothing to eat; it was some disgusting stuff.”
In 1963, Malcolm Steiner (Nanci’s father-in-law) set out to conquer another hobby—cooking and baking. At that time he was already a painter, an orchidist (person who raises orchids) and a volunteer at Long Island Jewish Hospital—delivering said orchids to patients’ rooms. In his spare time, Malcolm ran Steiner Plastics which became Universal Sign Company, founded by his mother, Cyrille Steiner.
“He worked alongside my father at Universal Sign Corporation until his passing at 90 years of age,” Jennifer said. “He was a man of very few words.”
Malcolm lived in Roslyn and worked in Glen Cove, although not in the food industry.
“His coffee cake was one of his favorite things to make,” Jennifer said. “My mom couldn’t enjoy anything he was making.”
In May of 2016, after the death of many of cakes in Nanci’s kitchen, she nailed it. It was off the charts perfect. Nanci, a retired science teacher, shared one of the biggest scientific taboos that almost delayed their launch.
“I didn’t write it down,” Nanci said. “When you’re tinkering, you’re just throwing in a little of this and a little of that.”
They were able to recreate the perfect blend.
“She really wanted it to be so good that nobody would know it was gluten free,” Jennifer said. “Looking back now, that was brilliant because we can sell our baked goods to anybody.”
Their game plan was only to sell the gluten-free flour blend.
“We needed proof of concept though,” said Nanci. “There were a million cookies out there so we decided to go with coffee cake.”
It is Malcolm’s recipe.
Jennifer said that Grassroots Naturally Delicious in Glen Head was the first local business that believed in their product and agreed to carry it, for which they are grateful.
“One of our unsung heroes who doesn’t get enough credit is my mother’s mom; our brownies are her recipe,” Jennifer said.
Nanci added, “She was in no way, shape or form a cook or a baker, but she loved to make brownies.”
Over the past year, Steiner’s Coffee Cake of New York has achieved some exciting highlights, including: an expansion into Stew Leonard’s, presence in Circle K stores and a collaboration with CoCo Confections (based in Sea Cliff) which is now dipping Steiner’s ginger snaps in chocolate.
Today, Nanci focuses on the research and development (R&D) while Jennifer, whose career background has primarily been in marketing and operations, runs the company. The mother-daughter team loves selling their line of gluten-free, nut-free, kosher products to consumers. These include brownies, ginger snaps, all-purpose gluten-free baking flour, and of course, “the very best coffee cake in the world.”
WHERE TO BUY LOCALLY
• The Dolphin Bookshop & Cafe, Port Washington
• Rising Tide Market, Glen Cove
• North Shore Farms, Mamaroneck, Whitestone, Great Neck, Port Washington, Glen Cove, Mineola
• Gemelli Gourmet Market North, Glen Head
• CoCo Confections, Sea Cliff
• Made in Upstate NY, Glens Falls
• Taste NY, Dix Hills
• La Gustosa Ravioli Pasta Shop, Franklin Square
• Stew Leonard’s, East Meadow
• Stew Leonard’s, Farmingdale
• The New Sandwich Express, Plainview
• Circle K, Hicksville
• The Metropolitan Bistro, Sea Cliff
• Partners Coffee, New York
• JRs Bagels, Oakland Gardens
• Cathedral Village-Compass Group-Unidine Lifestyles
Additionally, Steiner’s coffee cakes can be found at retail and restaurant locations in: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Visit www.steinerscoffeecakeofnewyork.com for more information about the brand products and order details. Steiner’s products are also available on Amazon.